While having a leisurely swim at the pools a few weeks ago, I came across a girl, Ashley, who swam so well I thought she must be good friends with fishes. So, as we talked a bit, I asked her for some swimming tips. She recommended a few things including the use of nose clips. She explained that when you clip your nose shut, it forces you to concentrate on breathing properly through the mouth while swimming. Also, it prevents water from running up your nose. She told me I could get these from a sports shop.
The next time I swam, I noticed that one of my biggest discomforts was that I sometimes accidentally let in water through my nose, causing fits of coughing. Remembering what Ashley said earlier, I made up my mind right there and then that the next time I visited the pool, it will be with my nose clips. So, I hit Sports Direct and bought a fine nose clip.
A few days later it was time for swimming lessons and I was ready to try out my trusty nose clips. First tip, for those of you with oily noses, you may have a hard time wearing nose clips right away as they may keep slipping off. It’s advisable to first take a swim for a few minutes to get that oil off your nose. Then try on nose clips. Once I had the nose clips on, I noticed that I had to breath in deeper through the mouth to get comfortable. It was amazing to see that even with my nose completely blocked I could breath steadily through the mouth. With this improved depth of breathing, I found that I could cover greater distances during front crawl before needing to face outwards for breath. Furthermore, there was no longer the case of water running up my nose. So, indeed nose clips are a good investment for the neophyte swimmer.
Now, please note, they are good just to help you learn to breath well through the mouth and reduce discomfort of water getting up the nose. Once you learn how to breath sufficiently deeply and properly (blowing bubbles in water for example) and are able to float well, there should be no problems with water getting up your nose and you can safely discard nose clips.